I love science. Should I give up my science classes?
September 18, 2007 10:31 AM Subscribe
I'm a science nerd who's transitioned to the humanities because of repeated fuck-ups. Now I'm giving up the last few science classes I have and it's ripping me apart. What should I do?
posted by anonymous to education (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I entered a challenging college on a math/science track. Ever since middle and high school my teachers and professors recognized I had a good deal of potential in and enthusiasm for those areas. I entered college probably a year ahead in math and science of my fellow students. However I've also suffered from serious procrastination, depression, and ADHD issues and for nearly every semester entered a cycle where I stopped attending classes, stopped doing homework, and didn't study for tests. You can imagine what this did to me academically. I'm now a humanities major trying for a science minor, but now it looks like even that has to go.
See, the years of failed math and science classes have left me sorely behind in those areas. It's not like humanities, where it's possible to wiggle and BS your way through courses that you don't feel quite up to snuff in. I don't remember much, and what I do remember is scattered. I'm struggling in the higher-level classes necessary for my minor and realize now it would take a year of hard review to get me back to speed. And I don't have that extra year, and, to be realistic, still lack discipline to do that kind of work outside of class. I have no desire to spend seven or eight years getting my undergrad; I don't have the money and it feels pathetic to take that long when I haven't even been doing it part-time or with a job on the side. At this point, I've failed so many academic opportunities I feel discouraged and ready to move on with my life.
I don't see scientific research as a career. My humanities major is much more in line with what I want to do for the rest of my life. I could use the freed-up credits to take classes that would be extremely useful to this major. And there are a lot of other things I enjoy doing and I worry if I did undertake the serious review and struggle through these classes I'd be sacrificing other areas of my life.
But the idea of giving up math and science is like a punch in the gut. I still love it--I remember my joy at doing higher-level math and desperately want that back. It feels like a part of my identity. Then there's the feeling of wasting all my potential and disappointing myself and the people I look up to. My career track COULD use science-trained people, and it's far easier to transition from science to the humanities than the other way around, especially since I do a lot of humanities research in my spare time. Finally, giving up science makes me feel stupid and inacapable.
So what do I do? Continue the (likely futile) struggle through higher-level classes? Or give this up, try to learn what I can on the side for my own edification, and take classes that would provide much-needed enrichment to my major? I worry about the latter as learning higher-level math and science is nigh-impossible on your own, even if you do have the discipline I utterly lack.
If I give up the science minor, the pressure of review, worry I don't have the discipline to do it, and frustration with how behind I am will disappear. But it will add itself to the weight of regret for all my screw-ups and my inability to live up to my academic potential. I wish I could turn back time 10 years and do everything over again, but as it is I have to live with the burden of my mistakes. What do you suggest?